Categories
Christian Blog heathly living Self Care

A Good Strategy for Healthy Living

I was on a flight this past week and started exploring the seat back pocket in front of me. Yeah, I’m THAT kind of guy. I inspected the folding laminated card—the one with all the pictures of the plane—just in case something changed. Who knows, maybe they added what to do if a UFO pulls up alongside while we’re in flight?🛸👽

Anyhow, it was the barf bag that really got me thinking. On one side it said, “Baby Care,” to dispose of a dirty diaper. And on the other side it said, “Feel Better,” you know after you’ve tossed your cookies—because the aliens did a fly by?🤢

As I flipped the bag back and forth, I realized the two phrases make a good strategy for healthy living. What is Baby Care? It’s allowing yourself the basic things needed to restore comfort. We don’t judge babies for being babies; we take care of them. Translation: listen to your body, mind, and emotions. If you need a break, take a break.

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they (the disciples) did not even have a chance to eat, He (Jesus) said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Mark 6:31 (NIV)

When you do better you feel better. Jesus said so Himself! So what is Feel Better about? It means taking care of yourself isn’t a crime. Kind reader, if you’re having a hard time today Christ understands. After all, He was a very busy guy. Yet he told his friends, “Let’s go somewhere quiet and relax.”

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Jesus, Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.

Categories
Hope

Look for the Hope

A friend from my church choir, whose whole family recently recovered from COVID-19, shared a testimony during our praise and prayer time after rehearsal: “Look for the hope.”

I immediately thought of King David’s words in Psalm 112:4 “Even in the darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.”

Come to think of it, light–no matter how small–always displaces darkness. I experienced this once in a large room of a limestone cavern. The tour guide turned out all the lights; it was the most complete darkness imaginable. “It’s so dark in here you can’t see your hand in front of your face,” he said. “Try it. Stick your thumb on your nose and wiggle your fingers.” Well, I did–looking like one of the three stooges. Suddenly, the lights came back on. “Gotcha!” said the ornery guide.😊

God’s hope is like that. It can illuminate our lives at any moment, because the Lord Himself has his finger on the switch. And, contrary to popular belief, He’s still the BOSS.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Genesis 1:3 (NIV)

Frankly, I’m in need of some hope from heaven this very morning. You too? Kind reader, our Heavenly Father is able to shed His glorious light, even on the darkest situation. So don’t get caught wiggling your hands in front of your face when He does.😊

This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.

1 John 1:5 (NIV)

🙏❤️ prayers and love.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Categories
Christian Living Truth

A Surprise in the Fireplace

It had been a long weekend at the church where I served as an associate pastor. I’d spent most of the day, and all Saturday night, with a family whose father was in intensive care at a local hospital. Sunday was, well, Sunday—the busiest day of the week for me.

So on Monday (my day off), I slept in for some much needed rest. But even with the extra sleep I still felt frazzled; folks in the ministry call this “compassion fatigue.” Feeling emotionally depleted from the long weekend of pastoral ministry, I decided to take a walk at a beautiful Christian conference center nearby.

But as I made my way around a scenic tree-lined trail, wouldn’t you know, it started to rain! I quickly went from a stroll to a sprint, ducking into a nearby multi-purpose building—that just happened to be unlocked. It was a gymnasium with a kitchen and reception area: a “cafegymatorium.”😀

Wanting to stay dry, I continued to walk laps around the basketball court, using a massive stone fireplace as a waypoint. But then I heard something: a fluttering sound coming from behind the darkened glass doors covering the hearth. A bird had somehow fallen down the chimney and was unable to escape.

I cautiously opened the doors. Stepping back quickly, I felt the breeze as he flew past me—into the empty gym. It was a male cardinal, flashing brilliant red! He circled near the ceiling, trying to figure out where he was.

Tip-toeing over to a side entrance, I opened the door. The rain had stopped and the sun shone brightly—bathing a corner of the building in light. But mister curious cardinal wouldn’t take the exit; he continued his holding pattern, looping the gym over and over. So I stepped away from the door and froze, still as a statue. Finally, my “brother from another mother” flew out the door to freedom.


I call my hapless bird friend “brother” because I’ve been where he was: trapped and unable to free myself alone. Leaving full time ministry, a failed marriage, both were impenetrable doors blocking my escape. I’m sure you can fill in the blanks from your own life.

The point is, Jesus Christ is the only person who can truly set us free. And He opens the doors with one word:

So Jesus said to those who believed in Him, “If you obey my teaching, you are really my disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31 (GNT) emphasis mine

Kind reader, may I remind you that all the truth you’ll ever need is found in Christ Himself? At the cusp of His own crucifixion He comforted His dearest friends with these words, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”— John 14:1 (NIV) And when Doubting Thomas questioned this, Jesus answered with a one sentence summary:

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6 (NIV)

It’s 2022 and Jesus is STILL the way; we don’t need another road map. God’s best to you always. Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️